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The Bard of Banefort

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  1. Milly Alcock has confirmed that she’s not returning next season: https://winteriscoming.net/2023/03/17/milly-alcock-wont-return-house-of-the-dragon-season-2-flashbacks/amp/ Judging from both this interview and ones she’s done in the past, I get the impression that Milly was overwhelmed by how famous she became overnight. Milly’s also going to be starring in a West End production of The Crucible as Abigail Williams, which is ironic since Emma D’Arcy starred in a previous production as Elizabeth Proctor. Is The Crucible like the inverse of A Christmas Carol, where it’s more popular in Britain than in America?
  2. The most common misunderstanding I’ve seen is that a lot of show casuals think Rhaenys is Viserys and Daemon’s older sister. Since the show doesn’t really go into Aemon and Baelon’s history though, I don’t think it hurts their understanding of the show. I agree that the Snow show will be huge. Even when the news broke last summer, the reaction was massive. That said, I don’t think it will give fans the closure they’re looking for. In retrospect, the big HOTD vs. ROP media rivalry was a bit premature. Andor ended up being the fantasy/sci-fi show the captured all the critical praise and nominations, and The Last of Us brought in the biggest audience.
  3. Cersei is an absolute delight to read—she’s just so much fun—but her cartoonish levels of stupidity and incompetence prevents her from being a great character, in my opinion. GRRM tries to balance this by including the prophecies and the psychological scarring caused by Tywin and Robert, but it’s still egregious.
  4. My hot take is that Dorne was already Porne in the books and the show blew the lid off of it, much like it did with Littlefinger. I’d say it’s a testament to GRRM’s talent that he was able to make such ridiculous (imo) plots/characters seem reasonable in the text.
  5. I don’t understand why his argument with Jaime in AFFC is so hyped. It may make sense for the character, but to me he just comes across as such a douche.
  6. So The Last of Us is officially a bigger hit than HOTD, at least in the US. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/the-last-of-us-season-1-finale-ratings-1235351440/ For those of you who watched both shows, which one did you think was better?
  7. BTW I started a GOT Musings thread too. I figured we could use a general discussion thread.
  8. Yeah, people go way overboard with hating Tyrion. I think this stuff is probably cyclical though, and will die down eventually. If you want to try a strange sensory experience, read one of the feast scenes while eating food you like. It makes me enjoy my meal even more.
  9. Love the show or hate it, GOT had a big impact on all of us. The HOTD Musings thread has become a good place to have conversations about House of the Dragon, so I thought I’d start a sister thread for GOT. What are your thoughts about the show? I’ll start with something positive: even if Cersei went out with a whimper, watching HOTD has convinced me that she is an iconic character. Very few female characters have been able to reach her level of villainy while also remaining sympathetic. She’s the type of character HBO was able to create back in the late-90s/early-2000s and that TV is missing now.
  10. I haven’t seen one of these threads in a while, so I thought I’d start up a new one. Here are two of my confessions: 1. I like the food descriptions and wish we knew what all of the 77 dishes served at Joffrey’s wedding feast were. 2. At this point, I’d rather George focused on finishing Dunk & Egg and Fire & Blood instead of Winds. Whatever the reason, whether he’s blocked or bored or anxious or something else, he can’t bring himself to finish this book. I have more hope that we’d get new material if he focused his energy on something else. Plus I happen to adore both projects.
  11. Anything that requires GRRM to have the sensibilities of a modern 20-something. No, the Unkiss is not a coping mechanism for trauma. If it was, then why doesn’t Sansa fantasize about Littlefinger and Joffrey too? A lot of people just can’t accept that a book series they love contains a lot of material that is now considered problematic. Don’t expect him to write Rhaegar and Lyanna as anything short of a straightforward love story either.
  12. I think the show colors people’s opinion of Arya. In the show, she’s always alone, whereas in the books, she actively seeks companionship. Sansa may be a rare example of an ambivert. She likes parties and social gatherings, but in times of turmoil, she retreats inward.
  13. I don’t think GRRM knows what the deal is with the Others, and if he does, it isn’t going to be resolved by something climactic or that makes for good television. If it was, the show wouldn’t have had to come up with their own, fairly anti-climactic solution.
  14. It’s not just about the specific characters, it’s about the greater context of these writing decisions. Men sacrifice themselves for children in fiction all the time and are viewed as heroes for it, but Laena doing so would apparently make her an agent of the patriarchy. Daemon can murder his wife—something that is still disturbingly prevalent in our world—and still be viewed as an anti-hero who is going to go down in a blaze of glory. It doesn’t matter that Laena and Rhea are tertiary characters; what matters is what their plots say about the writers and the world they’re creating. Arya saying “most girls are stupid” wasn’t annoying because it wasn’t from the books, it was annoying because by giving this line to the super-awesome-spunky-tomboy character, and having the shrewd and cunning Tywin not disagree, the show was tacitly endorsing this sentiment. And lo and behold, we saw that sentiment reinforced over and over again throughout the course of GOT.
  15. I think it’ll probably depend on how well-received the rest of the show is. If people like it, they’ll overlook stuff like that, but if not, they’ll look for other flaws to needle at.
  16. I think the critique for that scene increased over subsequent years. So do you think that the changes to Alicent will become more contentious over time then?
  17. There was another YouTube bro “leak” that is probably fake but it’s nevertheless an interesting concept, which claims that rather than Jace falling in love with Sara Snow, he’ll fall in love with Cregan. I don’t think there’s anything in the text to support this, but it would be an interesting twist on Mushroom’s. It would mean that Jace did fall in love but didn’t break his betrothal, and it would help explain why Cregan was so hellbent on continuing the war to avenge Rhaenyra (but really Jace). Just some food for thought.
  18. The people who loved S7-8 were the ones who were most excited for HOTD, and were therefore the most disappointed by it. This site is remarkably consistent in how a lot of us had mixed feeling going in and coming out. But my point was that the awards show apparatus is the one area where GOT/HOTD doesn’t seem to have been able to bounce back from the fallout of S8, unlike with viewers, who were won back for the most part. While I agree that HOTD is much better with its depiction of sex and nudity than GOT was (particularly concerning assault) I also think fans are full of it at times. If GOT had one of their lead male characters bludgeon his wife to death with a rock, or had a female character commit suicide because death by childbirth wasn’t “badass enough,” or turned one of the two main female leads into a child bride who is subjected to marital rape, book fans would have rioted. (IIRC @Mithras made a pretty good argument about this). I would have preferred that Alicent was more like her book counterpart, but seeing as this is the version we got, I do find all the hot takes that she is some kind of femme fatale who seduced Viserys by reading him a book to be pretty insufferable. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s mostly younger fans who say shit like this, which is pretty ironic, since this is a demographic that was raised to denounce rape culture. I guess it’s only bad if someone else is doing it.
  19. HOTD managed to win back most of GOT’s audience and a good chunk of reviewers, but it hasn’t really swept the awards circuit. The Emmys aren’t for a while, so it’s possible they could still do really well there, but except for the surprise Golden Globe win, it’s been mostly overlooked. (The most egregious example is probably Paddy Considine, who hasn’t been nominated for anything yet). It makes me wonder if this is a holdover from GOT, and that people in the industry resented GOT’s success even while the quality was noticeably dropping (S8 still won the Best Drama Emmy, for example). Conversely, if you look at the corners of the internet where people who were fans of S8/D&D congregate (they may be hard to find, but they definitely do exist), a lot of them were unhappy with the press tour for HOTD and felt that HBO was throwing D&D under the bus by all the not-so-subtle insistences that HOTD wouldn’t be making the same mistakes. So a theory I’ve seen in that space is that this is backlash from the industry for that, since fan backlash has become so pervasive and vicious during the past few years and a lot of entertainers are afraid of something similar happening to them. And even if I didn’t like the later seasons of GOT, I do sympathize with D&D for having to face so much vitriol for as long as they have. I don’t think I would have been able to handle that if I was in their shoes. So TL;DR: Who knows? We need one of those people who just got laid off by Warner to stop by and spill the tea
  20. It’s much more vibrant this time. It looked more brown in season one.
  21. Onto a lighter topic: someone at HBO must have been worried about Westeros’ redhead deficit, because Olivia dyed her hair bright red. (It would be kind of interesting if Daeron turns out to have red hair).
  22. The writers and directors all say different things. The director for E8, for instance, said that D&R’s bond is too deep for words. We’ll have to see. Either way, I don’t expect them to cut his and Nettles’ relationship.
  23. @Ran Did GRRM have a hand in the animated Dance of the Dragons DVD feature from a few years ago? Because that pretty explicitly confirmed that Daemon and Nettles had a sexual relationship.
  24. For the record, I don’t like Daemon and agree that his fixation on younger women/girls is gross. But I could see how the show might try to portray his relationship with Nettles as something redemptive—much like with Rhaegar and Lyanna, I didn’t get the impression that we were supposed to view this relationship as negatively as many of us do. I also don’t think think HOTD is as clever or profound about gender and patriarchy as the writers seem to think it is, even if it is better than GOT in this respect.
  25. Daemon had sex with lots of women, but the only ones he considered partners were Valyrian women—Laena, Rhaenyra, and Mysaria. He and Nettles had adjoining bedrooms and took baths together. I consider that pretty solid sexual subtext.
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